Skip to comments.Nearly half of Costa Mesa city employees get layoff notices (One commits suicide)
Posted on 03/17/2011 6:25:41 PM PDT by dragnet2
Officials aim to contract work out to curb future pension obligations and eventually close a budget gap. A union leader says the city didn't try to negotiate other options. Workers are shell-shocked, and one dies in an apparent suicide.
Costa Mesa has sent layoff notices to nearly half of its employees in a dramatic austerity program being closely watched by other cities struggling with ballooning pension obligations.
The move was sharply criticized by union leaders, and it stunned city employees, one of whom apparently committed suicide by jumping off Costa Mesa City Hall hours after layoff notices went out Thursday.
The six-month termination notices affect 213 of the city's 472 full-time employees and cut across departments: firefighters, maintenance workers, jail staff, even dogcatchers.
Costa Mesa is among hundreds of local governments around the country facing massive future shortfalls in what they owe retirees. This year's tab $15 million out of the city's $93-million budget is estimated to grow to more than $25 million within five years.
"Clearly they are trying a new model," said Stuart Drown, executive director of the Little Hoover Commission, a bipartisan state public policy oversight agency. "A city that lays off half its staff by any standard that's got to be considered a big move."
Costa Mesa "appears to have gone with the nuclear option," said Joe Nation, a professor of public policy at Stanford University
Faced with an unprecedented pension and retiree healthcare crisis, "cities are being forced to look at things that would've been unthinkable before," he said.
Controversy over public employee pensions and benefits has roiled state and local governments in recent months
Conservatives have attacked longstanding and seemingly unassailable perks won by public employee unions, and unions have struck back, unleashing bitter battles in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and elsewhere
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Nick Berardino, general manager of the Orange County Employees Association, was seen cursing out city CEO Tom Hatch in the lobby of City Hall.
“You cannot give out notices wholesale like that in this economy,” Beradino said. “That’s what’s going to happen.
Well lets all be thankful he did not come back and shoot the place up
Especially to people that have no skills that are useful in the private sector...
Worker Commits Suicide at Costa Mesa City Hall Amid Layoffs...Jumps off city hall roof!
WHOA I just hear about that on KCBS 2
Dude kill himself they give him lay off notice WHOA
If the city doesn’t have the money how are they going to pay salaries and benefits??? The Union wants them to work without pay??
did they also lay off all the city bureuacrats and administrators?
did they attempt to curtail benefits and overtime before resorting to this?
What did not get cut?
WTF? Did the Rats who approved the pensions to the unions (after taking union money) think that no one would ever actually retire and ask for their pensions?
I hope he was not the maintenance man that would have to clean it up
Meet Joe Nation, Drama Queen. It's pretty telling (how bad it is) when guvvies getting canned is considered a "nuclear option" or even "unthinkable".
“A 29-year-old maintenance worker for the City of Costa Mesa jumped to his death from the roof of the five-story City Hall building “
Shades of 1929.
Jeez the guy could have collected unemployment until he was 32.
Almost as long as had had worked there.
A lot of us have received layoff notices lately. I’m still here typing. Coward.
After what happened in Wisconsin, I don’t blame them for not even trying to negotiate with the Unions.
Only 50% isn’t “nuclear.” It’s hardly pop rocks.
>You cannot give out notices wholesale like that in this economy, Beradino said. Thats whats going to happen.<
Guess what, union genius? It’s happened before, it’s going to happen again. It happened to me years ago and I wanted to strangle my boss, but the angel on my shoulder told me not to get a police record for this b**ch that I worked for...at least I didnt kill myself.
You’d think people had never been laid off before. With 99 weeks of unemployment compensation available to them, it’s not like they’d be eating out of dumpster or something.
When the dust settles in Costa Mesa and elsewhere across the country the majority of Americans will understand what the mayors and governors already know: the public service unions have been raping them for years by holding them hostage for ever increasing (and unaffordable) salaries, pensions and benefits.
The next wave after the layoffs will see give backs and changes to the ridiculous rules that allow wholesale inflation of retirement benefits in the last 12 to 24 months of service.
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